Don’t count on former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to leave the Republican Party any time soon, despite his constant grousing about the GOP’s behavior.
Christie affirmed he is a Republican and intends to fight for the party.
“No, no, no,” Christie told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday when asked if he’d leave the GOP. “I am ready to change the Republican Party. I will never stop fighting to change my party. I am a Republican.”
Still, Christie, a longtime attack dog against former President Donald Trump, reiterated his well-worn commitment that he won’t vote for the leading contender to be the GOP standard-bearer in the Nov. 5 presidential election.
Christie was less committal about not voting for Biden.
“The one commitment I will make to you this morning is not voting for Donald Trump under any circumstances,” Christie said.
“I can’t see myself voting for President Biden,” he later said. “Do I rule it out? I can’t imagine doing it. My guess is Kristen if those are the only two choices. I’ll move to the Senate race in New Jersey.”
Christie also declined to rule out running as a third-party candidate.
The Garden State Republican knocked Biden as not being up to the task and defended special counsel Robert Hur’s inclusion of a blistering assessment of President Biden’s infirmity, concluding a jury would likely see him as a “well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory.”
Hur ultimately concluded that Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials” but declined to press charges.
Democrats have cried foul at the inclusion of the mention of Biden’s forgetfulness.
“The fact is they had to give the reasons why they weren’t prosecuting when you start off the report by saying that he willfully and knowingly retained classified documents. Well, that’s a violation of the law,” Christie said.
“In one respect, I think the Biden White House would have been happier if he had been charged, than for that report to come out because of the reelection campaign,” Christie later mused, describing the forgetfulness aspect of the report as damaging politically for Biden.
Back in 2016, Christie endorsed Trump shortly after he ended his own campaign for the GOP nod. Christie and Trump had a friendship that dates back to the early 2000s.
Christie has publicly admitted that he was interested in serving as Trump’s vice president or attorney general but blamed Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner for dashing those dreams.
Now, he has voiced profound regrets for backing Trump and has served as one of his foremost Republican critics.
Christie surmised that unlike last time in which Trump tapped lieutenants that functioned as guardrails to his presidency, in a second term, he’ll surround himself with loyalists.
“When he came into office in 2016, he was scared. He was afraid to be president … he knew he was not ready. So as a result, he listened to a lot of very good people around him,” Christie said.
“In a second term, he would not.”
Last week, Christie published his latest book, “What Would Reagan Do? Life Lessons from the Last Great President.”
The book reflects on the legacy of former President Ronald Reagan and the state of the Republican Party.